Meet George Onyango. He's one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Waislitz Global Citizen Award, which gives a total of $100,000 to three individuals who excel in their work to end extreme poverty. And he needs you to vote to make him one of the three winners! After Global Citizens around the world pick their three favorites, an expert panel of judges will rank them in first, second, and third place. George could win up to $50,000 with your help! Vote here.
Name of Applicant: George Onyango
Organization: Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group (DADREG)
Title / Position: Executive Director
Issue Areas: Girls & Women, Health, Education, Finance & Innovation, Food & Hunger, Environment
Region of Work: Africa –– Kenya
Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group (DADREG) is a community-based organization that works to improve the livelihoods of people who work and scavenge in the Dandora dumpsite through education, agribusiness, and vocational and entrepreneurship training. The organization was founded in 2009 in order to help rehabilitate children and women working in the dumpsite who face health hazards from the toxic waste they inhale.
To provide education, skills, and access to financing to the women and children who scavenge in Nairobi’s 30-acre Dandora dumpsite live in poverty so they may become competitive in the job market and creators of wealth in their communities, reducing poverty and hopelessness among the other dumpsite families.
Why George Should Win This Award
According to the UN, the Dandora dumpsite is one of the toxic place in the world and affects the lives of more than 230,000 people residing around it. I believe that the only way to reduce poverty and stop women from going to work with their children in the dumpsite is to provide them with skills and access to credit facilities.
The Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group trains women and girls in tailoring, catering, hairdressing, and agribusiness. Once they have finished their training, DADREG helps them start a small business based on their new skills.
Children rehabilitated from the dumpsite return to school and are provided with scholarships in order to continue with their education. Once these children graduate and their parents start their own businesses, the number of families working in the dumpsite will be reduced.
The dumpsite employs over 10,000, most of whom are women and children between the ages of 4- and 18-years-old. Sixty-five percent of these children are of school-going age, and these children work with their mothers in order to supplement the family income.
To make sure that we rehabilitate children and women from the dumpsite, we send them to schools and vocational training centers so that they are not only competitive in the job market, but so they may also become creators of jobs within their communities. It is my belief that when people are empowered, they are able to take care of themselves and their families, thus reducing poverty and hopelessness. For more of my work, visit: www.dadreg.org